NBA, PBA stars delight hoops fans in All-Star challenge
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Former stars of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) delighted Filipino hoops fans when they clashed in a friendly exhibition game at the SM Mall of Asia Arena Wednesday night.
The USA All-Stars, led by Chicago Bulls legends Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, defeated the Philippine All-Stars, 112-93, in an entertaining affair played in front of a sizable crowd.
It was former Sacramento Kings and Miami Heat star point guard Jason Williams who steered the USA All-Stars to victory, scoring 26 points on an assortment of three-pointers and several fancy lay-ups.
Pippen got the crowd on its feet when he converted a two-handed dunk off a broken play in the second quarter, while Dennis Rodman also drew cheers when he drained two consecutive long jumpers early in the third period.
The Filipino players also provided several wow moments. Marlou Aquino shone in the opening period, getting a three-point play against the taller defenders of the USA team.
Nelson Asaytono, Bong Hawkins and Kenneth Duremdes kept the PH All-Stars in the game when the USA threatened to pull away in the second quarter.
Duremdes, who finished with 29 points for the PH All-Stars, showcased his veteran wiles in the third quarter, fishing a foul from Charoy Bentley for a three-point play and managing to will his way into the lane for lay-ups against taller defenders.
The former PBA stars were competitive until early in the fourth quarter, getting as close as with seven points when Hawkins converted a driving lay-up to make it 79-86.
This prompted a short-lived chant of "defense" from the crowd, but Pippen and Cliff Robinson quickly stymied the Filipinos comeback attempt with back-to-back three-pointers.
Later in the fourth, Williams delivered several fancy passes to his teammates, including an off-the-backboard dish that resulted in a Pippen jam.
With 16 seconds to go, the contest was stopped as Pippen and Rodman addressed the crowd.
"It's an honor to be here. I've been here a couple of times before," said Rodman.
The former NBA Defensive Player fo the Year then drew more cheers when he acknowledged his father, Philander, who now resides in Angeles City and was in attendance.
"I haven't seen my father for 42 years, but here's my dad. There he is right now," Rodman said.
Meanwhile, Pippen acknowledged the PH All-Stars for a job well done.
"We tried to make it fun and exciting. Thank you guys for being so kind and for showing support," he said.
When the final buzzer sounded, fans flooded the court to get autographs from the visiting NBA stars.
Jojo Lastimosa, Vince Hizon, Noli Locson, EJ Feihl, Bal David and Jerry Codinera also saw action, with Codinera serving as playing coach.
Meanwhile, Victor Alexander, Chris Campbell and Jeffrey Trepagnier rounded out the USA team.